Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) health and mental health largely neglected

12 May 2010

 

  • Two areas desperately in need of further funding are ATSI health and mental health.  Each area receives small scraps of new funding in this budget.  COAG previously committed $1.6b to ATSI health programs.  This level of commitment needs to be maintained longer term if we are to “close the gap”;
  • For ATSI health, this Budget provides $38.5m to expand the supply and uptake of Opal (non-sniffable) fuel and $10.2m to reform the Community Development Employment (CDEP) programs in the Torres Strait islands;  while
  • For mental health, as announced at COAG before the Budget, there is some $120m in dedicated funding Including $79m for more youth-friendly services);  and
  • There is scope for ATSI and mental health patients to reap some benefit from the broader NHHN programs.